Once You Go Lumberjack

Bars and chains

Discussion in 'Chainsaws and Power Equipment' started by Cold Trigger Finger, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. Cold Trigger Finger

    Cold Trigger Finger

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    Hello everyone.
    I'm new here so I thot I would start a thread on a subject that is near and dear to me.
    A little introduction about myself.
    I grew up in central Maine, started cutting pulp for my dad a few months before my 13th birthday in 1973. Running McCullough Super 2-10 Automatic saws. Worked my way thru school farm and skidded logging there. Went in the service to get to Alaska . Got here in 78 and by and large haven't left since.
    Got out of the service when my 4 years was up and already had a pre commercial tree thinning sub contract on Revilla Is in Southeast Alaska. Then got into tower logging and after 6 years I got to break in cutting timber.
    Cut till our timber industry went belly up then got into banging nails , highway const , drilling , mining, running iron and truck driving . Which is what I currently do for a living.


    Since the invention of the power chain saw 2 things have remained constant.
    The bar MUST be straight and true .
    The chain MUST be sharp and properly jointed.
    It matters very little what engine pulls the chain around the bar.
    What matters most is that the chain will cut well and the bar keeps the chain running straight.
     
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  2. VOLKEVIN

    VOLKEVIN

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    Welcome to the group! Sounds like you have plenty of real world experience that will be appreciated here. It's a great group of folks, I'm sure you'll feel right at home.
     
  3. Czed

    Czed

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    Welcome to the site.
    Many of the problems i see when some one brings a saw in to be fixed is dull or badly sharpened chains.
    I've taught several how to sharpen.
    I was always a hand filer since the 80s.
    Chain prices are ridiculous 30.00 at my dealer for one stihl 20 inch 3/8 rs chain.
    Many here have said that's why they run a chain past the end of it's useful life.
     
  4. CoreyB

    CoreyB

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    I am more then fascinated by chains and how guys can get more out of them. I truly enjoy sharpening chains and dressing bars. Not that I can do anything special but still they cut lol.tganks for joining.
     
  5. Cold Trigger Finger

    Cold Trigger Finger

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    Thanks for the welcome ! So many people think a bar will last forever. I've found that it takes at least 3 , 36" bars to make it thru a roll of chain. Often 4 bars . With shorter bars , it takes more.
    Bars are kinda like depth guages on a chain . Guys see them but don't think thru the purpose, use and maintainance of them. . . I see lots of guys that never give their saws a good gooseing. And ask me why I give a good throttle blip between cuts. Then they wonder why their chain and bar over heat. And binds up. Or the guys that turn their oiler down. It takes lots of oil to lube all the chain , bar ansprocket parts. And it takes some good rpm to clean out the bar groove. Simple things like that keep the heat down on the rails . And in the power head.
     
  6. The Wood Wolverine

    The Wood Wolverine

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  7. Cold Trigger Finger

    Cold Trigger Finger

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    I had a post all written up , got a call and didn't get it posted .
     
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  8. Cold Trigger Finger

    Cold Trigger Finger

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    I don't go as much by the cutters being ground or filed away. For when a chain is toast. As I do the condition of the drivers.
    If the drivers are in bad shape. The chain is done . I've seen new chains that were still fairly sharp and never been filed or ground. But that chain was toast. . The guy that owned the saw , a 460 Husky . had never run a saw before. Didn't know anything about running a saw . At All. . didn't know to keep the chain properly adjusted for snugness. And was cutting up Sitka spruce limbs.
    He also didn't know how to pop the chain brake the instant the chain flew off the bar. And had the paddle wheel drive sprocket on the saw. Standard oem from the factory. He beat some drivers almost flush with the straps.
    Problem with some smart people is , they ain't near smart enuf. ;-)
    He was a Real smart guy.

    Wore out drivers cause greater wear to the bar groove and the rails. They throw much easier Which damages the power head. .
    Tiny little cutters that have been filed or ground away . Don't cut good and cause other problems. There is only just so much life in a chain. Same with bars. Modern Oregon Power Match bars don't last nearly like they used to. And yup . They all cost too much. Keeping the rails trued up and burr free helps a bar to last longer.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
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  9. LodgedTree

    LodgedTree

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    I always felt that people use far too big of a bar and chain; not only does it cost more to buy, it robs engine power, means more chain to file, and puts more wear on the loggers body. When I bought my new Husqvarna I had the 20 inch bar and chain swapped out to an 18 inch bar and chain. Right now I am cutting 36 inch diameter Ash and Sugar Maple hardwood logs, and I am not having any issues. Sometimes you have to get to the other side of the log to finish the bucking cuts, but it really is not that bad.

    For myself anyway, I can easily get over 100 cord of wood across a bar before it is junk. At $70 a cord (for pulpwood) that is $7,000 worth of income from a $40 bar, so I could care less about longevity or quality. It has done its job and paid me back and then some. Same thing with a chain, I can easily get 50 cord on it, again netting me $3,500 on an $20 chain, so who am I to complain? And of course chainsaws are the same way. I whine when I drive over them with a skidder or bulldozer, but like I told the saw dealer when I was hemming and hawing over a replacement saw last month and he said, "I know, they are expensive", but the truth is, the first load of wood it cuts pays for itself. There are a lot of expenses in the logging industry, but chainsaws are trivial in the overall big picture.

    I used to really get into sharpening a saw and got all scientific and even would run a diamond lap file along the outside of my teeth to hone away the inevitable bur that the files made, but no longer do that. I don't think it is wrong, I think when someone has an interest in something there is a desire to really get all they can out of that interest and for many of us, super-sharp is the holy grail of wood cutting, but once I learned how to get that keen edge, I am content now to just get it "close enough" and let the brawn of the saw head do the work.

    It was interesting to read your history though CTF: I still live in Central Maine and started cutting wood at age 9, driving bulldozer for my father twitching wood from forest to landing and back. At 15 I started running a chainsaw, cutting 4 foot fir pulpwood for Champion Paper in Bucksport by humping the pulpwood out of the brush and loading it on a woods trailer, of course in our family fashion, by putting the big logs up high so everyone thought we had a log loader. My father told me, if you start a load of wood, make sure you finish it, and that was 28 years ago and I have not stopped yet. I am a Certified Logger, and have my woodlot in the American Tree Farm System, but am retired now, having retired from Bath Iron Works in 2016. I don't get all excited anymore about cutting load after load of wood. I might cut 4-5 cord then call it a day. That is enough on my ole skeleton.
     
  10. Eric VW

    Eric VW

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  11. Cold Trigger Finger

    Cold Trigger Finger

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    Lemme see if this works.

    There are some there. Got a Bunch on photo bucket. But it's photo bucket. However , I can post a link there too
     
  12. Cold Trigger Finger

    Cold Trigger Finger

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    Didn't expect that . huh , lemme try again .
    99988194&source=56&ref=bookmarks

    Nope. That didn't work.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  13. Cold Trigger Finger

    Cold Trigger Finger

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    Maybe this will work . Glen Urquhart
    If ya go to my photos , there are a bunch there.
    Sorry I'm not better with the pic thing.
     
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  14. Cold Trigger Finger

    Cold Trigger Finger

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    At the moment I have a 16" bar on my 460 Stihl.. However , I'm in the Interior now. And just cut small silver poplar for my own firewood.
    If I was selling wood here. I would have a 28" on it . If I was on the coast a 36" . I used to bushel with 32" a lot . but my back bent a lot better back then . 36 is a good length for the coast. Lots of guys run 34" strictly. A few run 30 " . I like 30" and would run it in small stuff on the coast. But, 36" light weight bars are nice.

    I've known a few Maineaks in S.E. AK. That cut on the same crew . most ran 36" bars .
    West coast is different than back east .
     
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  15. chris

    chris

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    Welcome and you are doing fine pic wise- Photo bucket has gone all funky $ wise.
     
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  16. Cold Trigger Finger

    Cold Trigger Finger

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  17. Cold Trigger Finger

    Cold Trigger Finger

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    The red cedar in the above pic I fell in Tolstoy Bay 96? 98 ? That's my 3120 Husky W 42" Oregon 63 ga. Running Oregon 75 CKX Fur a Pro semi skip chisel ground chisel chain with an 8 tooth sprocket on the stump and one of my 394s 36" Oregon Shiny Bar. 63 ga same chain. in the background. That chain was awesome in red cedar because it cut the same width need as Oregon 404 chain. Like 52 AJ or AK .Stump was around 8' on the narrow and almost 12' perpendicular to the face. I thot it was a cull and would blow up when I fell it . but , it sounded up nice. That's why I put a conventional face in instead of a humbolt. Butt log had over 6,000 board feet Scribner in it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
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